You’ve probably attended a webinar or two (or more), but are you using them effectively as part of your overall content plan?
In this blog post, we teach you the basics of hosting a webinar and how to use them effectively as you build out your content strategy and grow your business.
Webinars may cover anything from healthcare policy to software pricing, and they may take many different formats, such as one person giving a demo or a panel of experts discussing a topic.
Webinars typically include some sort of question and answer period to invite participation from attendees. They are a great way to bring together people from around the world who are interested in a particular topic and give you an evergreen content resource.
Why use webinars?
It’s simple: webinars work. They not only engage people, with webinar attendees sticking around for an hour of content on average, but they also generate high-quality sales leads from all over the world.
By diving deep into a subject and giving attendees the chance to ask questions, webinars take prospect and customer relationships to the next level. In addition, they’re cost-effective, typically with minimal hosting costs and primarily the cost of your time.
Webinars also build your content library, giving you an extensive amount of pre-recorded content you can continue to leverage long after a webinar is over. By showing your expertise in a topic, webinars help build thought leadership, particularly if you involve outside experts in the content. They can also help build your reputation and partnerships among people in your industry.
How do I host a webinar?
Hosting a webinar is effective, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Here are five simple steps for a great webinar.
1. Pick your topic and presenters
Hosting a webinar is relatively easy. The most important part is selecting the right topic to cover and presenters to invite. To do that, think about your audience and what they want to know—and what your goal is for the webinar.
Do you want to generate leads immediately or create educational content to build awareness? Based on your goals, your buyer persona and what your ideal customer is interested in knowing, choose the topic, format (case study, live panel, demo or other) and speakers, potentially inviting industry experts and influencers to expand your reach. You can even do joint webinars with your partners, it will help strengthen your partnership and increase the reach of each of you.
Also, very important, pay attention to the date and time you choose for the event. Select a time frame that will benefit most of your audience. Mornings are a great time to host webinars, or around noon when it’s lunchtime and the best days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
2. Invite your attendees
Once you have your topic selected and speakers identified, it’s time to get people to attend! First, create a landing page with a registration form. It is very important to double check if everything is running smoothly, including your registration form, social media sharing buttons, thank you page and so on.
Then start spreading the word! Promote it to your email list, social media followers, online groups, and more.
Consider paid advertising if you have the budget. Involving co-hosts or partners in the webinar is a great way to extend your reach by having them promote the webinar to their audience as well.
3. Host the webinar
It’s time to host the webinar itself!
Before you do, you should have a general plan or script for the webinar and give it at least one run through to make sure that your webinar software works, your panelists can present and your content gets recorded. Nothing’s worse than delivering an amazing webinar that disappears!
Keep them between 30 to 60 minutes long. The length of your webinar depends on the kind of content you’re presenting, who’s your audience and how interactive the attendees are throughout.
4. Engage your audience
First of all, you need to be aware of the fact that only and 1/3 of those who sign up will actually attend your webinar.
Secondly, it’s not worth hosting a boring webinar that attendees will leave within the first five minutes. Keep your customers and prospects engaged throughout by creatively addressing the topic at hand, delivering new information and strategies and inviting insightful questions from the audience.
You can even insert polls during your presentation, it will definitely make the attendees feel involved, and it will make them relate more to the topic.
Always host a Q&A at the end. Studies have shown that 92% of webinar attendees want a live Q&A session at the end of a webinar. In case your audience it shy, you should prepare a few seed questions before, just to help break the ice.
5. Keep it coming
Just because you already had the webinar doesn’t mean you can’t play it again… and again and again.
Statistics show that 28% of people who watch webinars signed up to do so after registration was over.
Promote the recording to your attendees and make sure it’s easily accessible from a landing page with a registration form. Get as much mileage as you can out of the recording, which can keep sending you new leads.
You can cross-promote it with other related content pieces, such as blogposts, case studies, eBooks and so on!
Another thing you can do it repurpose your webinar and transform it into new pieces of content like infographics, short videos, blogposts and so on.
Got enough info about how to effectively use webinars to get started? We hope so.
Share your best webinar tips in the comments below!